Net-smitten former Disney CEO Michael Ovitz and Yucaipa Companies’ Internet
venture partner Richard Wolpert aren’t just toying around with their
new-found fascination with multimedia entertainment. The pair Thursday
announced an equity investment in GameSpy
Industries Inc. and its network of more than 30 Internet sites, their
second Net-related purchase in two weeks.
The pair plans to expand GameSpy Industries’ multi-player gaming and
streaming music technologies and services. GameSpy Industries Inc., is
the creator of GameSpy and MP3Spy software and has an
installation base of more than 4 million users. The GameSpy network boasts
more than 30 Internet sites, including PlanetQuake.com and FilePlanet.com.
GameSpy recently launched an MP3Spy site for streaming music software
downloads. The site includes an exclusive agreement with NullSoft’s SHOUTcast, which was acquired
by America Online Inc. on Tuesday.
“GameSpy’s proven leadership in multiplayer gaming and their strong
commitment to providing easy access to online entertainment with MP3Spy is
a natural fit with our strategy to help build
strong Internet and entertainment companies on the Web,” Ovitz said.
With the advent of higher bandwidth, Wolpert said he expects “endless”
opportunities to enhance the
online entertainment experience.
The equity announcement comes on the heels of Yucaipa Co.’s and Ovitz’s
launch of CheckOut.com, a site which will provide multimedia online
entertainment as well as the usual e-commerce offerings of music, videos